If you want a website, the first thing you are going to need is a “domain name.” What is a domain name, or just a domain for short? Well, as an example, the domain name of this site is “soupupyoursite.com”. The address that you type in to your browser to go to a site is the domain name of the site. Some examples of domain names:
See, you knew what a domain name was all along, perhaps you just didn’t know what it was called!
So, you have to choose a domain name that you will use for your site. Generally speaking, the shorter the name is, the better. The more targeted the name is, the better. For example, if you wanted to set up a site about model trains, the name “JimsHelicopterPage.com” would probably not be advisable. But, “JimsModelRR.com” might be perfect! Try to get a name that people know exactly what to expect when they go to the site.
Problem is, these days, it is not easy to find a good domain name. You can still do it, but you will have to try many names to find one that is available. It’s all because of those millions of websites that I have already mentioned. You see, if somebody else already has the domain name that you want, well, you cannot use it yourself then. There are ways that you may be able to get it, but that is for a different article.
When you are ready to purchase a domain name, you need to go to a “domain registrar,” the one that I recommend is GoDaddy, although there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of domain registrars where you can register a domain name. When you go to the GoDaddy website, or whatever other registrar you choose, you will start out by searching on the domain names that you have chosen to see if they are available. You will probably have to try a number of names to find one that is available. Once you find an available name that you like, it’s time to purchase the name! Generally, most domain names cost between $10 to $20 or so per year.
Tip: Save yourself a few dollars. If you are using GoDaddy, do a Google search for “GoDaddy Coupon” and you will find instant coupons that you can use to usually bring your domain purchase price down to about $7 or so.
When you are registering your domain, you will have the option of how long you wish to register the domain for. The shortest registration period is 1 year, and you can go as long as 10 years on a domain. For a new site, unless you are really super-committed to the site, I recommend an initial registration of just one year, in case you lose interest in the site, and wish to give it up. When it is time to renew, you can extend to a longer registration, if you wish.
Once you have found the right name, you will add it to your shopping cart, and go through checkout to pay for the domain name. Within a few minutes after paying, you should get an e-mail from the domain registrar giving you details of your purchase.
Your next decision to make is where you will host the domain. In other words, what company you will rent computer space from where your website will reside. I will cover that in our next article.